FORT LAUDERDALE – For whatever reasons, more and more Floridians are finding themselves in trouble with the law. Getting your driver’s license suspended due to a DUI is no walk in the park. For *Duane, one of my passengers today it meant leaving his car parked in a garage down on Brickell Avenue for a tiddy sum of $160/month while he lives in Broward County.
DUI is a huge burden for those facing license suspension; transportation limitations, legal expenses, possible jail time, etc. According to the Clerk of Courts of Miami Dade County website, “the defendant must pay all court costs and fines in full or make payment arrangements to clear the suspension with the DHSMV. A fee of $60 must be paid to a driver license office by the defendant in order to reinstate their privileges.”
If you take into account the legal costs of hiring an attorney to keep you out of jail and help you save your job, a license suspension with a DUI could add up to thousands of dollars plus months of waiting while your case migrates through the criminal justice system. If it is your first conviction, you could face a fine of $500 – $1,000 and 6 months in jail according to Florida Statue 316.193; with a second conviction they might put a ignition interlock device on your vehicle for 1 year and with your third conviction, you are looking at a felony conviction and prison time.
Okay – so let’s look at the bright side of Life for a moment. Okay – you messed up with your license suspension and DUI. Do you deserve forgiveness? The criminal justice system certainly will not “forget”; your criminal record will glow with your DUI conviction for at least ten years. If an employer runs a standard background check, you’re going to have some explaining to do!
Blacks Law Dictionary spells out the law in Florida and Tennessee regarding how long it takes for a DUI to fall off your driving record, “the very short answer is 10 years, at a minimum. Research came up with Florida retaining the mark on your driving record for 75 years. Tennessee retains it for life. In the case of the Florida retention, given a DUI offender is likely to be over 15, this means an offender will have to live deep into the 90’s in age before the offense comes off the record. It has the same effect as Tennessee. Every state holds a minimum 10 year duration for a DUI on your driving record”.
Now Duane works for a yacht chartering company in Miami-Dade County and luckily when he relocated to Broward County he was able to pick up work with the same company. Lucky, lucky Duane! No need to worry about looking for a new job while he fights his DUI license suspension case but he still needs to get around town; buying groceries, a six-pack of Budweiser (oh yes, I helped him offload my truck and he bought more alcohol).
Adding insult to injury, he was more concerned about a price comparison for bandages at Publix versus Walgreens as if bandages could spell more legal troubles for him.
Hmmm, like the comedian Ron White always says, “You can’t fix stupid!”.
Certainly Lyft is here to help him get around….his demise is an opportunity for Lyft drivers to pocket some cash. I made sure to advise Duane on Lyft’s new app features where he can input “Stop 1” and “Stop 2” during his Lyft rides to pick up some more groceries at Publix and stop by the nearest Crown Liquors while he rips off on his criminal defense attorney on why his case is taking so long to get dismissed. “I am paying you good money, Jeffrey – what is it going to take to get this thing to go away?”
Let’s use the EASY button here to answer that question, “Well, at least 10 years for starters in Florida and maybe some common sense!” Maybe you can pick some of that up at Publix the next time, partner!
You better leave your car parked in that high-priced $160/month parking garage there, Duane — with the way you’re going, you don’t want to find yourself behind the wheel again all smashed up on Crown Royal.
Do us all a favor and call Lyft and please remember to show your driver some love with a $5.00 tip; Oh, YES! – you can do that in the Lyft app (didn’t you know!) …his or her head might explode when you tell us your story and they are compassionate and then find booze in the truck of their car.
We aren’t going to judge you, Duane — Lyft partners are here to help you get back on your feet (everyone deserves a second chance) — but please don’t ask for any compassion when we offer to help you take your groceries to the doorstep of your home and we find more alcohol.
“Who knows, maybe I am an accessory to the crime”. I got to check Blacks Law Dictionary on that one! All in a day’s work, I guess!
*using an alias for passenger name to protect and respect his or her privacy; however the story needs to be told to help others avoid pitfalls in Life.
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